This piece originally appeared in The Jerusalem Post.

Three decades ago, a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires against the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) – the institutional heart of Argentine Jewry – killed 85 people and injured more than 300. Until Hamas’s horrific attack on October 7, the AMIA bombing had been the deadliest antisemitic attack since the Holocaust, and remains the most lethal terrorist attack in Argentina’s history. 

While Israel is actively engaged in holding the October 7 perpetrators accountable, Argentina’s Jewish community and all of society are waiting for answers. American Jewish Committee (AJC) has led the charge for justice from the very first moments of the 1994 attack. We were immediately on site supporting our AMIA partners and have kept the issue alive in the international courts of public opinion.

Yet, despite all our efforts, instead of swift justice, Argentines have seen murky decades of corruption, cover-ups, neglect, and outright malfeasance. To this day, we don’t know for sure who drove the truck bomb into the AMIA building. 

Tracking down who was behind the AMIA bombing

What we do know is that the Iranian regime is responsible – and the international community must help Argentina hold it accountable. 

This was firmly established many years ago during the investigations of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who paid with his own life as he tried to untangle the web of intrigues surrounding this case.

In an April ruling, the Argentinian Supreme Court of Justice agreed – asserting that Iran, a terrorist state, masterminded the 1994 bombing, which it correctly called a crime against humanity.

The court ruled that the AMIA attack, as well as the 1992 bombing of the Israel Embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 people and wounded more than 200 others, were “organized, planned, financed and executed under the direction of the authorities of the Islamic State of Iran, within the framework of Islamic Jihad,” and carried out by Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy group.

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That Iran acts through proxies makes it no less culpable. Ansar Allah, the Palestinian terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the AMIA bombing, has admitted that it was funded and protected by Hezbollah and thereby Iran.

In 2007, at Argentina’s request, Interpol issued Red Notices – international arrest warrants – for senior Iranian officials, including Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who is alleged to have planned and coordinated the attack. While local law enforcement is meant to enforce Red Notices, no country has yet acted to detain Vahidi or any other official.

Vahidi, for example, recently made an official state visit to Islamabad. Not only was he not detained, he made the outrageous assertion that Iran was “serious in fighting terrorism.” Others of the accused have traveled to Bolivia or Nicaragua without any consequences.

COMBINED WITH Iran’s ongoing support for regional terrorists, including the Houthis, Iraqi Shi’ite militias, and Hezbollah, Vahidi’s brazen hypocrisy is further evidence that letting the Iranian regime escape its crimes with impunity only emboldens it to commit more.

It’s time for the international community to respect the decision of Argentina’s courts and arrest the Red-Noticed officials, wherever they may travel. The global community must also officially affirm the Argentinian Supreme Court’s decision, as the chairs of both the US House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees did in a recent statement. It is long past time for Iran to be held accountable for the mass murders it orchestrated in Buenos Aires 30 and 32 years ago. Failure to do so would insult the hard-won progress Argentina has made in recent years in carrying out justice for its Jewish community.

In 2019, Argentine Judge Juan José Galeano was sentenced to a prison term for concealing and destroying evidence, as were former intelligence chief Hugo Anzorreguy, former prosecutors Eamon Mullen and José Barbaccia, and Carlos Telledin, a used car dealer who sold the van that was used in the 1994 bombing. Also in 2019, Argentina officially declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

In 2020, the country officially adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism and just last year it became the first country in Latin America to appoint a special representative for the fight against antisemitism, a position dedicated to fighting anti-Jewish hate domestically. These are important steps in a difficult, decades-long process of accountability, and the momentum must continue.

Argentina’s President Javier Milei said in a statement welcoming last month’s Supreme Court’s ruling, that “the era of impunity is over” and the court was delivering “the justice that both victims and their families have awaited for decades.”

Honoring the victims and survivors of the attack, as well as their loved ones, means a clear-eyed recognition of Iran’s role, as well as arrests of the responsible parties.

Argentina and the global Jewish community have waited 30 years for justice. They shouldn’t have to wait any longer.